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While functionality is paramount in any exhibit, aesthetics can be just as vital, especially when it comes to in-booth presentations on a crowded show floor, where competition for attendees' attention is fierce – and literally right next door. In this kind of environment, a cramped classroom or oh-so-ugly stage just won't do. To inspire you to ramp up the design quotient of your next stand's stage, here are six examples that paired purposeful functionality with exquisite beauty. By Linda Armstrong

PHOTO: Impact XM

Color Blast
Exhibitor: Ricoh Company Ltd.
Show: Print
Design: Impact XM, Dayton, NJ, 732-274-2000, www.impact-xm.com

It only takes one glimpse at this theater to understand the power of a pop of color. Amid Ricoh Company Ltd.'s black-and-white stand filled with cityscape imagery, these corporate-red benches and Plexiglas backdrops didn't just catch attention – they practically demanded it.

PHOTO: Czarnowski Display Service Inc.

Dental Drama
Exhibitor: Koninklijke Philips N.V. (dba Philips Sonicare)
Show: American Dental Association Annual Meeting
Design: Czarnowski Display Service Inc., Chicago, 800-247-4302, www.czarnowski.com

The Philips Sonicare brand proved that dental care can be dramatic. While a black material adorned with bubble imagery enveloped the space, open sides maintained an airy feel. Aided by technical support from Production Resource Group LLC, the setting hosted up to 19 visitors.

PHOTO: Line 8 Photography

Intelligent Design
Exhibitor: Intel Corp.
Show: International Consumer Electronics Show
Design: Taylor Manufacturing Industries Inc. (The Taylor Group), Brampton, ON, Canada, 905-451-5800, www.taylorinc.com

Simplicity reigned in this Intel Corp. theater featuring straightforward forms. Stadium-style bleachers delineated the space, and three massive benches offered additional floor-based seating. Paired with a minimal color palette, the rectangular elements were effective and effortless.

PHOTO: DisplayWorks LLC

First Class
Exhibitor: IGN Nordic (formerly THQ Inc.)
Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
Design: DisplayWorks LLC, Irvine, CA, 949-654-0400, www.displayworks.com

Nothing generates show-floor attention like a lifelike Lear Jet suspended over an exhibit space. Video-game developer IGN Nordic (formerly THQ Inc.) did just that and then devised a themed interior to preview its latest game release in a detail-rich environ.

PHOTO: Show Ready

Contemporary Classroom
Exhibitor: Palo Alto Networks Inc.
Show: Ignite
Design: Blueprint Studios, South San Francisco, 415-922-9004, www.blueprintstudios.com

Mixing inventive textures and contrasting hues, this theater design turned an otherwise lackluster lecture hall into a contemporary classroom. Designers juxtaposed sleek metal finishes on the tabletops and overhead signage with plush seating and faux turf to craft a lavish learning lab.

PHOTO: Padgett and Company Inc.

Game Changer
Exhibitor: Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (dba 2K)
Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
Design: Freddie Georges Production Group, Huntington Beach, CA, 714-367-9260, www.freddiegeorges.com

The presentation space for Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (dba 2K) recreated the world of 2K's Carnival Games line of electronic entertainment. Bathed in theatrical lighting and adorned by overhead flag streamers, the environment transported visitors to a carnival kingdom.
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